A Message On Move For Health Day

Covid-19 Visus Illustration

Sunday, 10 May 2020 is Move for Health day. A day sanctioned by the World Health Organisation, with the objective of placing emphasis on improvement of health and the eradication of non-communicable diseases.

Based on the global survey and study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2002 on the main factors that propel the global mortality rate, WHO noticed a shift in the global burden of disease and the factors that fuel global mortality.

Prior to the global outbreak of COVID – 19, WHO conducted survey findings that in most parts of the world, non – communicable diseases have become a major epidemic, sparked by a rapid change in lifestyle as a result of reduced physical activity, changing diets and increased tobacco use. This outcome was noticed to be a global trend and present in all societies, rich and poor, developed and developing. The study further outlined that, chronic disease now accounts for a huge number of premature deaths annually and furthermore, physical inactivity is estimated to also contribute to millions of global deaths. Lastly, over 60% of adults are simply not active enough to benefit their health.

Based on the outcome of this survey finding, WHO concluded the survey outcome should be brought to the attention of policy-makers, the public health community and civil society so that emphasis on the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle should be globally encouraged. 

On the basis of this background in 2004, Move for Health day was therefore established to take place annually on 10 May, with the objective of promoting a healthy lifestyle and physical activity. The other objective to emphasise is that in order to improve and maintain healthy living, we need at least 30 minutes of physical activity, daily.

Move for Health day is now an event programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, residing under the Active Nations Unit, celebrated annually in partnership with the Department of Health and Gauteng Provincial department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

Previously, Move for Health day was celebrated outdoor by a hype of physical activity inclusive of Fun Walk, Aerobics for the old and young, Indigenous games (Khokho, Dibeke, board games) and by playing 5-a-side soccer for the elderly.

The event will also make available health screening facilities to give advice and results on Vitals, HIV and TB, which unfortunately, this time around won’t be the case.

This year’s Move for Health day falls on a Sunday, coinciding with Mother’s Day. Both take place under strict Government lockdown Disaster Management Regulations. The regulations are triggered by the manner in which the Coronavirus is spiraling out of control with an infectious rate and its daily recorded fatalities. Meaning, this cannot be business as usual.

In terms of Disaster Management Lockdown regulation 24 (1) to (4), all sporting, cultural, sport field, public park, museums remain closed for the duration of the lockdown. There cannot be sporting events in terms of level 4 alert or until stated otherwise.

This year, Move for Health day takes place in observance of strict government restrictions. Meaning that to celebrate this day in terms of Disaster Management regulations, the following can still be done: a walk/ jog around the block during permitted times and as outlined by Disaster Management lockdown regulations (6am – 9am). Indoor domestic physical activities can still take place at the discretion of the individual. 

Minister Nathi Mthethwa said “We note the conditions under which our Move for Health Day is recognised and today, celebrated. We are doing all that is within our power to eradicate the spread of COVID-19. I am certain that with our sacrifices and perseverance, this too shall pass. My request to everyone is, let’s not make regulations an excuse to not keep fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We need to start now. For those who still haven’t commenced with making daily exercise their routine, it is never too late.

Let’s always maintain social distancing and keep a two-meter distance with the next person.

Happy Mother’s Day. I choose to be active, how about you?”

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